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First Love – One True Love

The cost of substance abuse


here as a trustee,” said Carkner in a 2015 interview. “I amhere as a grandmother and a community member.” According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health 23 per cent of Ontario students report they were offered, sold, or given a drug at school in the last year. That’s about 219,000 students. 42 per cent of Ontario students surveyed have used an illicit substance in the last year; 83 per cent of Ontario students in grade 12 drink alcohol; 49 per cent of Grade 12 students admit to binge drinking. “I was impressed by the quality of the presentations,” said Champlain councillor Gerard Miner. “I learned a lot and now understand better. The volunteers put on quite a play explaining the gradual trip taken by some of these kids that have everything to succeed but go astray only to end up on a slab. I recommend it to everybody, parents with their kids, but maybe even more as a boot camp to kids identified with a problem.” The next Reality Tour will be held in April and Carkner believes the attendance will be better. “It looks like April will be full very quickly as we already have several registrations for that presentation.”

The second Reality Tour took place at Pleasant Corners Public School (PCPS) Saturday, February 20 with another great turnout. InNovember 2015, a group of community volunteers helped to launch the first Reality Tour for Vankleek Hill and Surrounding Communities. It was a great success with almost all 100 spots filled andmany council members transformed and moved by the event.The teens that attended said it opened their eyes to the negative consequences of drug use while parents said it offered them not only a better understanding of drug problems, but the tools to discuss the issues with their children. Saturday’s event saw a few less people with 65, but just as much of an impact was had on those in attendance, “It went well once again,” said Caroll Carkner, organizer. “It wouldn’t be possible without all of our supporters and exhibitors.” Carkner began asking for help for the Reality Tour last year. She saw a problem in the area and wanted to help. “I am not

France Henault fromOttawa stands beside one of her paintings at the Eros Exhibition. —photo Diane Hunter


goes along with the theme of this one. I’ll be back at Le Chenail in April.” Frenière also has some artwork in galleries in Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City. “It is important for me to do local exhibitions,” said Frenière. “So people knowme as a local artist. There are a lot of artists here.” “We thought Valentine’s Day was the perfect day tomeet the artists,” said curator John Olsthoorn. The exhibition runs from February 10 to March 13. “We have 11 artists who have submitted artwork for this exhibit, two locals, one from Montreal, seven fromOttawa, and one from B.C,” explained Olsthoorn. “It is not the kind of erotic exhibition that most people might think. It is soft, subtle, and striking. What the pieces do is test your assumptions. We like to elude. People have preconceived notions about erotic art. Traditionally, you would see a lot of naked women, but that is not what this is.” Olsthoorn said for most exhibitions there is a card beside the artwork explaining what it is. However, at Eros, the explanation is in a book so that visitors can make their own assumptions about the piece they are looking at and then see if their assumptions are right. “It’s often not what the observer is thinking.”

Valentine’s at the Legion

Vankleek Hill’s Arbor Gallery holds the longest running annual exhibition of erotic art. The Eros Exhibition has been running for seven years and shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. This year’s event went with the theme First Love – One True Love and saw artists from near and far showing their erotic artwork. Nathalie Frenière, France Henault, Susan Jephcott, Mary Kritz, Susan Porter, Jason Shafto, Olga Szkabarnicki, ShelbyM. Taylor, Mitchell Webster, RoyWhiddon, and Darya Wynter were among the artists showcasing their work February 14. France Henault, an artist from Ottawa, started painting about three years ago and started exhibiting about a year ago. “It’s very exciting,” she said. “I used to do clay sculpture, but I was running out of room. So I decided to change to painting. I found out it takes up just as much room.” Local artists Nathalie Frenière has a studio in Vankleek Hill and takes on students to teach painting. “I did a big solo last week at Le Chenail,” said Frenière. “I do a lot of exhibitions. I’ll be doing one inNew York in three weeks about women and art. It sort of


to entertain. For those who were lucky to have their number drawn, they received door prizes which included bottles of wine or coupons for the next Smoked Meat Supper on February 26. The evening ended with a delicious spaghetti supper accompanied by a beautifully decorated Valentine’s cake, much to the delight of visitors. The Billy Gabriel Band, Midnight Stage Band, Roly & The Nighthawks Band, and Big Iron Band had outstanding performances. Themany volunteers including Nicole Trotter, George Rawlins and Cecile Desjardin helped to make the night a big success.

The Hawkesbury Legion Jamboree & Valentine’s Party was a great success with a full house celebrating Valentine’s Day. Even though it was one of the coldest days of the winter, many fans turned out to see some of the area’s top country rock bands put on extraordinary performances as well as dance, win prizes, and enjoy great food. The dance floor was often full to capacity for the waltzes, jitter bug, line dances and good old rock & roll played by the bands that came

Former WWE Superstar “Carlito Caribbean Cool”

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